Jack MacLean, past president of Qualicum Beach Legion Branch 76, serves egg nog to guest Val Fordham during the 2016 New Year’s Levée at the Legion Hall. The legion branch will host its 2018 Levée Monday, Jan. 1, from noon-3 p.m. — NEWS file photo

Parksville Qualicum Beach legions to host New Year’s Levée

Public invited to annual welcoming event

Qualicum Beach Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 and Parksville’s Arrowsmith Branch 49 will continue a longstanding Canadian tradition when they host their annual New Year’s Levées Monday, Jan. 1.

The Qualicum Beach Levée takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at the legion hall with food, refreshments and live music, including appearances by the Qualicum Beach Pipe Band.

The Parksville legion’s Levée begins at 1 p.m., with food prepared and served by the Branch 49 Ladies Auxiliary.

The public is encouraged to attend either event.

A levée is a uniquely Canadian New Year’s Day tradition of receptions held by the Governor General of Canada, the Lieutenants Governor of the provinces, the Canadian Forces, RCMP, some municipalities and some legion branches.

The levée marks the advent of another year and provides an opportunity for the public to visit. The first recorded Levée in Canada was held Jan. 1, 1646, in the Château St. Louis by Charles Huault de Montmagny, governor of New France (later Québec) from 1636 to 1648.

In addition to shaking hands and wishing a Happy New Year to citizens presenting themselves at the château, the governor informed guests of significant events in France, as well as the state of affairs within the colony. In turn, the settlers were expected to pledge anew their allegiance to the crownThe Levée tradition was continued by British colonial governors in Canada, and subsequently continued to the present day.

— NEWS staff

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